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Utilities challenges hold up new Beetham overpass

By ANDRE BAGOO Tuesday, June 17 2014

SEVERAL issues relating to utility lines have delayed work on a new overpass at Beetham Highway in the vicinity of Sea Lots, Minister of Works and Infrastructure Dr Suruj Rambachan said yesterday.

Speaking during Parliament Question Time, Rambachan said the relocation exercise for various utilities was one of several factors affecting the start of work.

Rambachan said a bridge before the Port-of-Spain market needs widening. He also said an NGC gas line has to be re-located; a WASA line as well as utilities belonging to TTEC, TSTT and Flow.

“All of these entities have utilities that are hindering, and can affect the progress of this walkover,” Rambachan said. “It has proven to be quite a challenge.” Sewer lines are also involved. He said designs are being considered and a “lighter weight structure” is a possibility.

The Minister said the overpass is one of four planned for that stretch of , and for MovieTowne. No time-lines were given with respect to the projects.

Also during Parliament Question Time, Minister of Community Development, Winston “Gypsy” Peters, disclosed another long-gestating project had halted due to crime. Peters said the proposed Picton Dance Theatre was now beset with “considerable challenges”, even though ten percent of work on the project had been done up to 2013.

“We have re-scheduled the recommencement of this project because of the need to consider challenges experienced by some in that high-risk area,” he said without specifying. Peters said the State would possibly deploy military and police, and place a facility there, “to stave off the untoward behaviour there of some elements.”

“It is a crying shame this has to be done in our country,” Peters said. “It had to stop because of the untoward behaviour of some elements in the vicinity of that place...The elements that are there are so dangerous.” He said while it was, once the project recommences. Discussions will be held in the coming weeks between the Ministry of National Security, military and the Ministry of Community Development, on the issue.

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